Clean your equipment

It may sound obvious, but keeping your equipment clean is a really important habit to get in to – otherwise you might end up spreading unwanted invaders when you go to work.

At JKSL we have come across a number of widespread problems that have been caused by garden maintenance teams’ contaminated equipment. Once they have cut Japanese knotweed – especially with strimmers and mowers – they can carry viable bits of material from site-to-site, depositing tiny fragments of Japanese knotweed material far and wide – where it often re-grows. We have seen whole housing estates contaminated this way – spreading from just a single plant on a communal verge in to virtually every back garden on the estate.

Japanese knotweed spreads through a number of means – but in the UK it very rarely spreads by seed (if ever), as the vast majority of the plants here are female, and all of the male plants which have been recorded are hybrids.

Japanese knotweed spreads through its root system – which can spread up to a startling seven metres per year. However, the most dangerous method of spread is through fragments of stem, root or crown – all of which can re-grow in to a new plant from a piece as small as a fingernail. It’s like the sorcerer’s broomstick in Fantasia – you cut the darn stuff in half and then you have twice the problem you had before!

Even more difficult to spot are the seeds of other invasive species such as Giant hogweed and Himalayan Balsam – which can remain viable for a number of years. Given time, a single seed can cause complete re-infestation on the site – which is why ongoing monitoring by professionals is such an important part of the treatment process.

Cleaning tools, plant and boots is a key part of how Japanese Knotweed Solutions avoid further spread of invasive species when we work on contaminated sites. Proper site management is part of what makes us a trusted specialist and the UK market leader in the eradication of Japanese knotweed.

Zach Thorp